Necessity or Distraction: Cell Phones in Public Schools

Cell phones first hit the market in the eighties and have become popular over the years.  Just about everybody owns one and uses them to communicate with their family and friends.  While using a cell phone for emergencies is a valid reason for owning one, more and more concerns have arise for having them in the school building.  For some teachers, cell phones have become a distraction and a nuissance in the classroom, while other teachers don’t mind them.  One school in Washington D.C. have taken a more relaxed approach to cell phones among students.  Students may have their cell phones on their person if they leave them off for the duration of the school day.  While high school students may be responsible enough to follow this policy, middle school students may not be as willing.

When I student taught, our school’s policy was similar to the one expressed by this school.  Before and after school was the only designated time the students could use their cell phone, but during the day they had to remain off.  If the students had them on, then they were confiscated.  This may be one of the better compromises  because it is hard to ban them from the school building.  Parents want to have some line of communication with their kids.  There may be a better policy than this one out there, but for now this one works.

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